By Michael Specter

ISBN-10: 1594202303

ISBN-13: 9781594202308

During this provocative and headline- making booklet, Michael Specter confronts the frequent worry of technological know-how and its negative toll on contributors and the planet. In Denialism, New Yorker employees author Michael Specter finds that americans have come to distrust associations and particularly the establishment of technology extra at the present time than ever earlier than. for hundreds of years, the final view were that technology is neither strong nor bad-that it in basic terms offers info and that new info is usually necessary. Now, technological know-how is seen as a political constituency that won't continuously in our greatest curiosity. we are living in an international the place the leaders of African international locations wish to permit their voters starve to loss of life instead of import genetically converted grains. adolescence vaccines have confirmed to be the best public overall healthiness degree in historical past, but humans march on Washington to protest their use. within the usa a starting to be sequence of reviews convey that supplements and "natural" remedies have nearly no price, and infrequently reason damage. We nonetheless spend billions of greenbacks on them. In thousands of the easiest universities on this planet, laboratories are nameless, unmarked, and surrounded by means of platoons of safety guards-such is the competition to any examine that comes with experiments with animals. And pharmaceutical businesses that simply 40 years in the past have been maybe the main obvious image of our impressive improve opposed to illness have more and more been noticeable as callous firms propelled completely through avarice and greed. As Michael Specter sees it, this quantities to a warfare opposed to development. the problems will be advanced however the offerings should not: Are we going to proceed to embody new applied sciences, besides acknowledging their barriers and threats, or are we able to slink again into an period of magical pondering? In Denialism, Specter makes an issue for a brand new Enlightenment, the revival of an method of the actual global that was once stunningly potent for centuries: What should be understood and reliably repeated through scan is what nature considered as precise. Now, on the time of mankind's maximum medical advances-and our best desire for them-that deal needs to be renewed.

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Additional resources for Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives

Sample text

Vilsack’s crime, according to the Organic Consumers Association, was extreme. ”) Vilsack believes in biotechnology at least as fully as the leaders of the OCA believe in organic food, and that automatically makes him suspect. Typically, organizations like the OCA denounce any official who supports genetic engineering, no matter what the reason. Most of Iowa’s farmers grow genetically engineered foods, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Vilsack’s central transgression was that, as governor, he considered that a good idea.

The speed with which this technology has spread across the globe transformed agriculture before many people ever realized it. “So confident are the technicians of the safety of their products that each one is seen as no more than an arbitrary mix of independent lengths of DNA,” the popular British geneticist Steve Jones has written. “Their view takes no account of the notion of species as interacting groups of genes, the properties of one . . ” Virus-resistant crops, for example, contain viral genes in all their cells.

After all, corn, in its present form, wouldn’t exist if humans had not cultivated the crop. The plant doesn’t grow in the wild and would never survive if we suddenly stopped eating it. Does God object to corn? The prince skipped over another, equally essential truth: genetic mutation occurs naturally in all living things. Genes are constantly jumping around and swapping positions without any laboratory assistance; in fact, evolution depends on it. There are more legitimate reasons to worry about genetically engineered foods.

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Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter


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